ANTIQVA – An interview with Lindsay Schoolcraft

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Interview by Miriam Cadoni

Behind the moniker ANTIQVA, we can find seven of the most talented internationally based artist of our days. Back in December, they have released their debut single “Funeral Crown” which it has already collected rave reviews from both press and fans. About this, we have interviewed Lindsay Schoolcraft, learn more how her collaboration with Ne Obliscaviscaris‘s Xenoyr born and lastly, how ANTIQVA got together. Enjoy with us this amazing (but long) interview with this amazing Canadian artist!

Hi Lindsay, welcome back to Femme Metal Webzine. How are you and how these precarious days are treating you?

Hey, I’m pretty good, thanks. Everything’s going great. Actually, I can’t complain, it has been an incomparable year but things are just going great on my hand, I guess. It’s the introverted me that it’s loving it.

First, would you like to recall our readers how did ANTIQVA get together?

Sure. It’s a long story, I hope you have a lot of coffee on [laughs]. Let’s go back to my childhood and start there [laughs], I’m not even lying, when I was really really young all this classical music will come to me in my head. Mostly, in form of strings and it doesn’t matter where it was coming from and what it was, considering that I wasn’t raised in classical music. On the contrary, I was raised on country music, Disney and a lot of pop music. I felt like “Where is this coming from?”. So a lot of these melodies and ideas have stayed in my head from a long time. They stayed there, they hung out in a loop which can result sometimes really annoying. Now, flash forwarding to Cradle of Filth’s 2015 Hammer of the Witches tour, in that regards there’s an interesting story because it’s where that it starts my friendship with Xen.

The first year I joined Cradle in 2013 I went in Australia and Ne Obliviscaris opened for us in Melbourne and after that, they took off, they were amazing. It’s during this occasion that I met Xen. At first, I didn’t actually think anything of it, just “He’s nice, he’s awesome, it’s cool”. That was it. Then, that summer, I received a cryptic email from him. At the first moment, his identity wasn’t clear and it was just later that I have recollected my brains on to the point I was embarrassed. I realized that he has gifted me with a copy of their album and I had completely forgotten that. Considered how much Cradle was demanding, I didn’t even have the time to listen to it and I was just concluding the festival run.

Blessed his soul, he actually heard me on some covers paying some symphonic compositions, at the time, at the best of my abilities because I was still under developed. So, he told me that he visited my BandCamp and asked me if I was interested to start a project together. On a first instance, I didn’t accept his offer because I was too much busy, because I didn’t completely know about his musical tastes, how fabulous he is as an artist. At the time, I was 27 years old and me being stupid. What happened next, it’s just that we were touring together and after the first week, I discovered how much interesting as a person he was. He’s a night owl and an early bird, and this of course, involves alcohol.

During that European tour, I was trying to not drink or at least, not hit the bottle too much but something that me and he would do is get up early, get a coffee, grab something to hit and visit churches, crypts and graveyards. It was amazing and this tour experience helped us to strengthen our friendship. However, there was this turning point where we chat and hang out, and I confess that I have some material that Cradle won’t understand. In one of these occasions, we were in Rome and naturally, a lot of alcohol was involved but we have found out that we share the same favorite songs. Among one of these, it’s Carl Orff’s “O Fortuna”, the version from the movie “Stepbrothers”. All this, got the wheel turning and the same time, we realized that also we love the same bands. As I mentioned before, the alcohol helped in the whole debauchery which also includes a missing train, walking three hours and forgetting my glasses at the restaurant.

But on the way there, maybe it was liquid confidence after sharing a bottle of wine, I just blurted out “Do you want to start a band?” and he’s like “I do” [laughs]. On a last note, all this happened 5 years ago, exactly in November. After this special meeting, I started writing the pieces out that had been haunting me since my childhood. Those few demos were really brutal and raw, in sense that they were not holding up to the standard I have now as a composer. Anyway, we have always to start somewhere and if you don’t try, you’ll never get it. It got to a point that, yeah, it was Christmas, I got home and told Xen that I hit a wall and wrote these 23 minutes of organ, piano, string and Gregorian chant. For hit a wall, I mean that needed help to continue this process by finding a guitarist but I kept this quiet because I didn’t want to rock the boat with Cradle of Filth [laughs].

Simply, it followed by that and then, we found our guitarist Vivian. Again, when we toured together, this time in Montréal, we asked Justine to join us on drums which is also a talented orchestrator. And thus, it was between the four of us that the magic started to happen. Subsequently, Memnoch, Delai and Andy from American progressive death metallers Black Crown Initiate joined us. So far, it has been really great and honestly, I really love working with them. Also, it’s the best I can do in explaining this story in less than 10 minutes because it’s quite an interesting and different one. We had our high and lows and I refer to the fact that, for example, in 2017, due to our several commitments, we did almost nothing.

After my last year’s break up with Cradle of Filth, I took some time for myself and I decided to commit my strengths on ANTIQVA. Then the pandemic came and it was so far a challenge. However, the main goal was to release the single and we achieved that. Its process has been really fun and smooth. I’m grateful for anyone who went working for us and helped us out throughout the whole process. It has been awesome.

On December 4th, the debut single “Funeral Crown” was released. What can you share about its general production?

[Laughs] It was really different from what we have planned before. Actually, we wanted to hire a full string section but due to the pandemic, it was next to impossible. Consequently, I proposed to strip this down because we had already a full sound. Consider that Memnoch is playing double bass and we have also a cellist. Essentially, what we need of was someone that could play violin and viola.

Luckily, I knew someone because I just hired this musician for my album “World Apart”. His name is Dagda and he plays in the folk metal band Celtibeerian. He’s super cool and talented. His collaboration helped us to lead forward into a more intimate direction. Once again, it’s not bigger how we were supposed to go and it’s way small. Thus, every cloud has a silver lining and the whole situation helped the song to be more intimate and it Looks the strings to breath to have more expression.

Then, what we did is to simply record everything remotely and it worked. I’m so happy that this communication back and forth between 6 different countries (if we include also Dagda and the people that finished this song) played its role because it was worth it. You know, we made it work and we sent everything to my producer for editing and polishing it. Then, it followed mixing and mastering. It turned out great and after 5 years of writing demos, we had the chance to listen how we actually sound like. Naturally, it was really emotional for me and eye-opening for the rest of the band. Even talking about that right now, I get emotional to the point that I feel unreal.

While we had planned the release date for the 4th December, logistically we were running late and we started to worried if that date would have been feasible. We just had given a try and we have demonstrated to ourselves how the process of this band works. Taking in consideration that ANTIQVA is internationally based and it features different personalities, we had the need to get a confirmation that we can work together. And our single “Funeral Crown” represents that but also to learn what we can improve, what positively has worked and what we should not do again.

Additionally, I had the chance to play and record on a grand piano. It was a dream coming true and if that has happened, I have to thank my girls Justine and Delai. We’re a sort of femme power energy trio. Even though I began to write this song, actually it’s thanks to Justine’s and Vivian’s cooperative effort if the song came true. Also, the piano parts that I have played were inspired by their intense work. All this was really great and I’m excited, after Christmas, to focus our efforts on concluding the recordings of our debut.

You have just mentioned the recordings of the debut and I must admit that doing it through a global pandemic is not logistically feasible. How did the outgoing outbreak impact on the whole process?

Well, for ANTIQVA, the thing is that we have been writing on and off for years and, at the state of the things, we don’t know how it will look like. Thus, it won’t change much because we’ll record it in the same format that we used for our single “Funeral Crown”. However, the only things that can pose an issue is attempt to record a live church organ. In order to achieve that, I need an insurance and most probably, I would need also some lessons.

Of course, the guys have a lot of faith in me but it will be different which will involve a lot of work. Though, it’s important to slowly focus on the songs. I have a method which entails to work on 2 songs only and considering that some songs are even 8 minutes long, that can turn out a lot to work on. So, I think we’ll work like I explained you before because we have also to work on the feedback and have breathers in it in other to given us some breaks. I would like to avoid such an experience like the one I had with Cradle of Filth where I flown it and I done it in a span of a week.

Even if my work load was less than the other members, I don’t know how the guys managed it. It’s exhausting and it’s important to give time to yourself for mental break ups for avoid a burn-out. I had that and I think, you give the best when you reward yourself with some rest. I mean, some of us are in the late thirties/early forties and we need to recognize that period to rest. At the moment, I don’t have clear ideas in that regards and we need to have a meeting and speak about it.

Also, back in October, you have released your harp album “Worlds Away” which was introduced by the self-titled single. In general, what can you tell me about its general production and process?

Yeah, the harp album was my lockdown project because I thought it was something to do between Christmas 2019 and 2020. Also, I was in a period where I was healing, I was tired and at the time, I was on therapy for taking care of my health care. So, in the pre-pandemic period I figured out that I just wanted to rest, stay at home and focusing on my newly conceived acoustic harp album for celebrate 10 years of musical career.

With recreating all those old songs, I thought to close a chapter and move on to another decade. But then, from January until the first week of March, I was busy and the whole COVID pandemic hit the entire world. Of course, the lockdown hit even here and it’s then that I’ve decided to start this project. I was lucky that my producer is my neighbor too and I was able to reach his place by walking 20 minutes.

During this lockdown, we helped each other sane. We needed each other for our sanity and mental health. We worked together and in a span of two weeks and I worked on two/three songs at the time, I was feeling productive [laughs].

It was fun, it was enjoyable in the sense that brought me back to the time where no business, no tons of social medias were involved. Just dedicating myself to play music, sing and create. I felt like a teenager because all this process brought me to the love for the music that I had. It felt amazing.

Additionally, your third solo album “Worlds Away” marks your 10th anniversary as a professional artist. If you could take stock of all these years, what would you like to mention?

[Laughs] It’s a good question. I mean, there it has been so much good and I’m beyond blasted with gratitude. I’m so lucky to be where I am right now. However, the biggest mistake that I have made is trusting the wrong people and that comes with experience. I mean, I’m one of those people that if I’m handling my art to you, there will be 21.000 questions. Because when it’s your part-time job, you’re always looking for an opportunity.

Instead when it becomes your full-time job, it’s your livelihood and you cannot let anyone mess with that. Due to my wrong career’s decisions, sometimes it happened that it did overshot my budget, wasted some precious time or it wasn’t good for my mental health. So far, these 10 years have been a crazy adventure, even if, I started technically to pursue a professional career 20 years ago when I was 15 years old. That’s really a long ass time. [Laughs]

What does the future hold for both your solo career and ANTIQVA?

Well, for what concerns my solo career, I’m taking a little of a step back until I feel ready to do my next album but in 2021, I’ll do my best to keep releasing stand-alone singles. Since I already know in which direction I’ll go with my next album, these singles are stand-alone that won’t fit the full-length. They should be released on their own. So, I’ll start soon to chipping out on those and I’m really, really excited for that.

Instead, for what concerns ANTIQVA, the next year will be dedicated to recording, writing and make that debut full-length happen. So far, the response for our single has been extremely overwhelming and I’m enjoying that. Of course, writing alone is quite lonely but if you do it with the right people who love writing and they leave at the doorstep their egos, it can totally turn out in a healthy and loving environment where you can grow and learn from mistakes. I feel so lucky and I really want to go on full gears with these people by creating something special.

Sadly, we’re almost at the end of your interview. With this, please say hi to your fans and our readers.

I’m really grateful for my fans and anyone that’s reading our interview. Also, it’s always nice to come back to you and chat because Femme Metal Webzine has been a big part of my career. So, thank you for always having me back, it means a lot for me.

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